420 N. Third Street: A New Beachhead for Freedom

Picture a state legislator—briefcase in hand, flanked by the media and legislative staff—descending the Capitol steps. This setting looks the same in all 50 states.

Our legislator didn’t look out and see his constituents—the people he was elected to serve. Instead, until now, he saw the towering headquarters of public-sector unions.

Teachers unions. AFL-CIO. SEIU. Teamsters. In Harrisburg and in capitols around the nation, the message is clear: We’re here—we’re watching you.

In Harrisburg, union executives with hundreds of millions of dollars to spend want politicians under their thumb, and their 84 lobbyists stalk the halls of the Capitol.

As the leading champions of fairness and the free market in Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth Foundation is not going to cede this ground to union officials anymore. We now occupy a new beachhead—420 N. 3rd Street, the closest building to Harrisburg’s capitol steps.

It used to belong to the AFL-CIO. Now it serves a better purpose.

Instead of union enforcers, the view from the Capitol steps will now be 17-foot windows that currently tout our policy pillars: Independence. Opportunity. Prosperity. Fairness.

Our message to lawmakers is clear: We’re here—and we’re watching out for Pennsylvanians.

Our investors have empowered Commonwealth Foundation and its allied organizations to become national leaders in the battle for free-market ideas. Consider this: in just under a decade, we’ve grown our resources by a factor of 50. We’ve gone from humble beginnings and a seemingly unwinnable fight to become the fastest-growing and most successful state policy organization in America.

Good thing—because Pennsylvania is the linchpin to defeating socialism and tyranny in this country. The founders conceived our nation in liberty in Philadelphia, and we’re fighting every day so that Pennsylvania can write a new chapter in America’s story of freedom.

We’ve won tough school choice battles to provide an educational future to tens of thousands of kids. We’ve enacted pension reform that will save taxpayers billions. Pennsylvania is finally seeing commonsense restrictions on unions’ special privileges, and those in poverty are benefiting from welfare reform. Despite having the most liberal governor in America, we’ve blocked 13 of his tax hikes.

All of this has happened because Commonwealth Foundation is growing exponentially. That’s no coincidence. Ronald Reagan said it best—personnel is policy—and this year, we’ve scaled up our operation to include over a dozen new full-time employees, including our new Vice President, former state representative Steve Bloom.

We’re outnumbered and outgunned by public-sector unions who oppose free-market policies to help our state prosper. That’s why we’ve built a talent pool and pursued a strategy that has us punching above our weight.

And it’s working. But we can’t rest on our laurels—we have to grow or die. Right now is a crucial moment. Our opponents are clearly nervous about our work. Public-sector unions have even started an organization whose sole job is to cyberbully us around the clock.

That’s not the sort of petty skirmish we’re interested in engaging in. Instead, our new in-your-face office space is leveraged for impact, dramatically increasing the influence of every Wall Street Journal article and TV spot, every legislator meeting, and every entrepreneur we mobilize. It’s more than a symbol: it’s a tool, and we plan to steward it to the utmost.

Stay tuned as we approach the inaugural opening of this location this fall!